I can’t believe it but another month has passed and my trip to New Zealand is just wrapping up. I remembered when I first arrived and couldn’t fathom spending the next 30 days in a hostel. The first friend I met, Hanne told me that this would be good for me and that I would grow as a person and grown I have, in many many different ways.
When traveling alone it’s always comforting to be with a tour group that does all the navigating for you but it’s also intimidating to make new friends when you don’t know a single soul on a 45 person bus. The past month I have met people that I probably wouldn’t have given the time a day to had I met them on the streets of New York City. I hate to say it but I did a lot of pre-judging on my first few days and as I look back I feel horrible about it.
As I boarded my bus on day one, I looked around and immediately wondered how I could possibly be around these people for the next 30 days. Without even getting to know them I immediately made up my mind that some were snobby, dorky, arrogant, mean, had annoying voices, talked too much while others not enough and just downright odd! It seemed like I would never click with any of them. As the days went on I was forced to get to know these people since we spent every waking moment together and I now realize how wrong I was. A benefit of coming alone to New Zealand is that I got to know many different groups within the pack, I was a floater and that was a good thing because it forced me to be more open. I’d spend days with one group and then would have dinner with another group. I got to know people from Poland, Ireland, France Germany, Holland, Canada, Finland,Denmark and England and shared some of the funniest laughs that I will never forget. It turns out these people were not snobby, rude or annoying; they were just new to a big group like myself and were a little shy, especially since English was their second language for most of them. Each of the people that I did end up clicking with in the end were kind, caring, trustworthy, understanding, funny and sympathetic. They would be the first to comfort me when I was upset about something or being drama queen about the hostels and for that I am infinitely grateful and proud to call them true friends.
Speaking of hostiles…..I did it! I made it through one month of hostels; 21 beds in 27 days minus one stay at a hotel. After living without roommates for the past 9 years in NYC this is a huge accomplishment!
In addition to that, in the past month, I have gone to bed in dirty clothes, taken showers in communal areas, lived in my yoga pants and sneakers, had worse wifi than in India, haven’t had a pedicure in weeks, have had “no-makeup” and messy hair days, have worn the same outfit 2 days in a row because it was easier, have used a wet towel when showering for all but 3 days, have slept in places without heat or electricity, had multiple roommates, have walked into bars and restaurants looking like a bum with my backpack and sweatshirt and I am still alive, it didn’t kill me! Now I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to the next 3 weeks of hostels in my future destination but at least I know I can do it!